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Railway & Modelling Obituaries

Stuart Baker


Mike_Walker
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Stuart Baker, cartographer of the well-known Rail Atlases, passed away yesterday after a long illness. He suffered a serious stroke some time ago which meant he had to take early retirement from his senior role at the DfT where, among other things, he was instrumental in leading the IET project, attempting to reinvent the rules of physics in the process and giving us the Class 80x.

 

RIP

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This is indeed very sad news. I only met Stuart on one occasion, when he delivered a fantastic lecture at the Tolson Museum in Huddersfield in the mid-80s. The various editions of his Atlas have been ever present on my bookshelves, providing an invaluable reference source over the years.

Rest in peace Stuart and condolences to his family and friends.

 

Andy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice chap! Had a chat to him on the platform at york station once (didnt know who he was) until I drove the train to brum and was chatting to the train manager in mess room and then he said who he was ie' rail atlas chap' he sat in 1st class on hst to brum jotting notes for updates to books...(1st class staff pass as ms grade) the atlas are staff go to book as many route learning maps issued are pants, the atlas points out where you are in relation to other routes and locations..saw him a few times on network he always said hi, another 'proper' railway man passes. Still have my copy in a box somewhere dog eared and scribbled on?

RIP

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His ability to absorb information was astonishing. In RRNE days one of my colleagues was tasked with going to his office on a Monday morning and bringing him up to speed on what had gone wrong over the weekend, and Stuart expected the update even if he was already on the phone to somebody else. My colleague, Chris, was reasonably sure that no-one could possibly listen to two conversations at once and that he was talking to himself, so one Monday he chucked in the classified football results as well. Stuart briefly put his hand over the mouthpiece, snapped "Stop waffling Chris" and carried on. 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Deeply saddened to learn of Stuart's death. I first met him back in 1977 when we were both Eastern Region Management Trainees, and kept in touch with him over the next few years. From 2011 until I left Network Rail in 2014, he was one of my main contacts at DfT in developing the East West Rail project, and we met regularly to discuss scope, costs and timescales before EWR was adopted as a committed scheme for Control Period 5. We didn't always agree about these issues, but I never doubted Stuart's absolute commitment to doing what he believed was best for the railway. He was a good railwayman, and will be missed by many in the industry.

 

Bernard Hulland

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Very sad news. He was no age and had plenty more to give. I first worked alongside him, when he was InterCity Route Manager ECML South, working for the Sector, and I was InterCity Manager Kings Cross Area, working for the GM. Don't ask! But we kept in touch, on and off, for many years afterwards, until I retired. 

 

A very dedicated railwayman - he could cite the passing times of trains as we stood on platforms, let alone the calling times - and we both faced the irascible Peterborough and the Huntingdon Commuter Associations alone during the fast changing times of the 1980's. 

 

He will be much missed, and especially by his family. A very great shame, to have died so relatively young, and a very big loss of talent to the industry.

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  • 1 month later...

Shocked that I missed this news at the time.  Stuart was a friend and railway society colleague at university, and is the second of our circle (after Ken Cordner) to pass before their time.  One of my claims to fame is that I got him to correct a couple of typos in the 1st edition of his Rail Atlas, which obviously I still have.  RIP.

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